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Activists call for end to violence against the world’s ‘untouchable’ women 

On the United Nations Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, 25th of November, Dalit women activists are urging the world to pay attention to the plight of women subjected to horrific acts of violence because of their caste and gender. While the world is busy praising India’s booming economy and status as ‘the world’s biggest democracy’, Dalit women are subjected...

India: Affirmative action is needed to improve schooling and employment opportunities for Dalits 

This is a recording from the Minority Voices conference, held in Budapest in May 2010.In this recording:One World Action’s Tara Brace-John is emphasising the need for disaggregated data on the enrolment of Dalit children in schools in South Asia. EU companies based in the region should also be aware that groups such the Dalits need special attention and foreign business actors need to take...

India: Raising awareness about India’s Prevention of Atrocities Act among Dalits is a key issue to give meaning to the law 

This is a recording from the Minority Voices conference, held in Budapest in May 2010.In this recording:One World Action’s Tara Brace-John is introducing India’s Prevention of Atrocities Act specific for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. Based on this act, any person who is verbally or physically attacked or their property is stolen because of their belonging to any of the scheduled castes or scheduled...

MEPs: The EU must act now to help end one of the biggest human rights issues in the world  

PRESS RELEASE from The International Dalit Solidarity Network Brussels, March 1, 2011 (IDSN) --- MEPs stated that EU action must be taken to help end caste discrimination, affecting 260 million people worldwide. The statements came during a hearing on caste discrimination in South Asia, at the European Parliament Monday afternoon. This was also the message delivered by Dalit rights advocators at the hearing, who...

MRG Podcast: March 2011 

Welcome to the March 2011 podcast from Minority Rights Group International. This month we hear about how minorities are affected by the exploitation of natural resources in their communities, learn about how Dalit children are disadvantaged at school by caste discrimination in India and travel to the Balkans to listen to a rousing Romani brass band.Narrator’s transcript: The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization joined forces...

Sri Lankan women's groups demand road access for displaced people through famous nature reserve 

We, the undersigned call on the Government to take immediate action to prevent the destruction of the Wilpattu National Park, while continuing to provide access through the road from Puttalam to Mannar via the park. We believe that through taking corrective measures the Government can ensure that both issues are addressed in order to protect the rights of the expelled Northern Muslims and the...

India: Dalit Christians in search for justice 

Christian and Muslim Dalits in India have long demanded for separate quotas that will help address their historical marginalisation in areas of education and employment. In February 2011, the Indian Supreme Court was scheduled to take up a Public Interest Litigation case on the issue of quotas. John Dayal, an Indian civil society activist campaigning on Dalit issues, comments on the status of the...

India: "Social activism is like “onion-peeling” - you successfully peel one layer, but then comes another one." 

Martin Macwan, an Indian lawyer and activist, is the founder of Navsarjan, a grassroots Dalit organisation, based in Gujarat state, India. Being a Dalit himself, he learnt the hard way as a child what caste discrimination means. Dalits, the former "untouchables" in pre-independence India, make up around 166 million of those living in the country, and together with other disadvantaged groups they make up...

Minorities combat economic exclusion - photo story from the UN Minorities Forum 

The third UN Forum on Minority Issues took place in Geneva in December 2010. This year’s Forum, which is the only one of its kind and focused on effective participation in economic life, brought 500 participants together, including minority activists from all regions of the world, NGOs, academics and experts, as well as delegates from some 75 States.MRG’s Media Officer, Emma Eastwood, was there...

Minorities speak at the UN: India 

H. Benjamin Mate, of the Indo-Myanmar Tribal Development Association, spoke at the UN Forum on Minority Issues. He described the condition of Kuki people in India and Burma: alienated  and expropriated of their identity and rights.To read his full statement, click here.“These regions have been often described as India’s biggest zoo by the mainland Indian. The basic necessities such as safe drinking water, sanitation,...

India: Orissa Freedom of Religion Act 1967 is Anti-Minority  

“My religious conversion is not inspired by any material motive. This is hardly anything I cannot achieve even while remaining an Untouchable. There is no other feeling than that of a spiritual feeling underlying my religious conversion. Hinduism does not appeal to my conscience. My self-respect cannot assimilate Hinduism. In your case change of religion is imperative for worldly as well as spiritual ends....

India: Warrant issued for police officer who removed turban 

17 April 2011, Mohali, Panjab –A bailable warrant of arrest was issued yesterday against the concerned officer of Mohali Phase VIII Police Station for failing to attend court to report on a complaint filed by UNITED SIKHS concerning the removal of a turban of a Sikh youth by two Punjab Police officers last month.Judicial Magistrate First Class, Jaswinder Singh, said that the warrant is...

India: Dalits unable to access government disaster relief programs 

Despite the fact that caste-based discrimination is illegal in India, prejudice against Dalits seeps into government-run programs, including disaster relief. Lee Macqueen Paul, documented the impact on Dalit communities during heavy flooding last year. The photo report can be downloaded below. The report was commissioned by National Dalit Watch, an initiative of the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights. In an interview below, Lee...

India: Dalit homes destroyed without warning by Delhi authorities 

Imagine sitting in your home. It’s ten o´clock in the morning and you suddenly see a bulldozer, with its jaws wide open, drive up to your front door. You are told that you have thirty minutes to collect your belongings and get out of the family home you have lived in for decades, before it is completely destroyed, reduced to a worthless pile of...

India: Why Dalits and Minorities fear Freedom Struggle  

The media has finally noted the absence of the Dalits, OBCs and religious minorities from the mobilisation for the Kejriwal-Kiran Bedi-Hazare gathering at Ram Lila grounds. This was perhaps because former Union ministers and OBC leaders Sharad Yadav and Lalloo Yadav exposed the ulterior motive of the campaign in their forceful speeches in the Lok Sabha. Religious minorities and the Dalits kept...

India: Dalit women trained on advocacy 

These photos are of a training session with minority women, taken in January, 2011. The participants were Dalits in the Sundarban area of West Bengal state. Training was based around awareness creation on gender and empowerment, and the importance of children rights. The training focused on: community mobilisation, empowerment processes,  development leadership qualities, lobby and advocacy strategies The Christian Children Fund of Canada works on...

India: Anti-corruption movement excludes minorities 

[The following is the statement of Dr John Dayal, Secretary General, All India Christian Council, on behalf of the Council, on the apprehensions of the religious minorities and marginalised people on the so called Jan Lok Pal Bill, the proposed anti-corruption bill.]The All India Christian Council fully understands the angst of the common people, the Dalits, Tribals, Religious Minorities against the evil of corruption....

South Asia: Dalit women voice concerns at the UN Forum on Minority Issues 

Dalit representatives from India, Nepal and Bangladesh voiced their concerns about effective political participation of Dalit women at the 4th session of the UN Forum on Minority Issues. The thematic focus of the session, which was held in Geneva on 29-30 November 2011, was “Guaranteeing the rights of minority women”. Several Dalit representatives actively participated in the panel discussions and side events of...

Minorities at the UN: Ensure Dalit women's political participation in India 

Lee Macqueen of the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, represented Dalit women in the recent UN Forum on Minority issues, focusing on Dalit women’s political participation in local governance. She took the floor to highlight the obstacles faced by the marginalized community.Macqueen states that even though one-third of the seats in local government offices or panchayats, are reserved for women, amongst the Dalit...

Minorities at the UN: Effective participation of Dalit women in India's economic life 

The Centre for Social Equity and Inclusion (CSEI), an NGO based in New Delhi, India, recently spoke at the fourth session of the UN Forum on Minority Issues, focusing on the challenges faced by Dalit women in participating in economic life.Arti Verma, CSEI's representative, stated that despite constitutional and legislative provisions put in place to address the issue of caste discrimination, Dalit women continue...


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